Trump Campaign to Sue CNN After Project Veritas Exposes Company Bias

October 18, 2019 Updated: October 18, 2019

A lawyer for President Trump’s reelection team sent a letter to CNN President Jeff Zucker and Vice President David Vigilante.

“Your actions are in violation of the Lanham act,” stated the letter, drafted by attorney Charles Harder of Harder LLP.

The letter cited footage posted by Project Veritas that showed alleged CNN employees speaking about Zucker’s “personal vendetta” to “take down President Trump.”

In one of the videos, the employees are heard saying that CNN made attempts to report the news in an unbiased and neutral perspective, the letter read. However, “In fact, its reporting is far from neutral and highly biased against” Trump.

The letter then cited statements from purported CNN employees Cary Poarch (“CNN purports to be facts first, and that’s just not the case”), Nick Neville (“Don Lemon comes on, he makes you think he’s objective news, but he’s blatantly opinionated. So either disclose where you’re coming from or get someone whose a bit more objective … he’s blatantly anti-Trump; he’s blatantly left”), and Christian Sierra (“There’s just nothing we can do if Zucker wants impeachment every single day to be the top story”).

The CNN sign is seen outside the news network’s headquarters in New York City on Nov. 12, 2002. (Mario Tama/Getty Images)

Harder then said their statements and others were just a fragment of what his clients have collected against CNN.

Then, he issued a warning to CNN and Zucker.

“Your actions are in violation of the Lanham Act,” which prohibits a number of activities including false advertising. “By constituting misrepresentations to the public, to your advertisers, and others,” it said.

CNN, the letter claimed, is misrepresenting the public by claiming it employs “journalists,” “truth seekers,” and also stands for “excellence in journalism.”

The Trump team is now looking to file a lawsuit against the firm and seek damages and reimbursements, he said.

“Please contact the undersigned to discuss an appropriate resolution of this matter, which would include a substantial payment of damages, as well as all other appropriate measures that are necessary to fully address the magnitude of the situation,” wrote Harder in the letter sent by overnight mail and email on Wednesday.

CNN has yet to issue a statement on the matter.

“Never before in the history of this country has a president been the subject of such a sustained barrage of unfair, unfounded, unethical, and unlawful attacks” by mainstream news outlets, Harder said.

Veritas Video

On Oct. 14, Project Veritas released the undercover footage for CNN. At least some of the recordings were provided by Poarch, a satellite uplink technician who works as a contractor at CNN’s Washington bureau.

CNN Media Coordinator Christian Sierra on Sept. 12, 2019. (Project Veritas)

In one example, during one of the morning rundown calls, one of the call attendees pitched a story about MSNBC’s Oct. 2 gun control town hall with Democratic presidential candidates.

“Guns will be the central topic in the 2020 Democratic nomination race today,” he said. “The Giffords PAC has paired up with MSNBC, they’ve got a guns town hall in Las Vegas, 10 candidates will be showing up there throughout the day.”

“I don’t care about the MSNBC event, okay?” Zucker responded. “I don’t care about them. Let’s just stay very focused on impeachment and everything that happens today because, look, you’re going to be coming on at 3 o’clock. Trump is at two.”

Petr Svab contributed to this report.

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